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History of British Invasion Music
by Alex Cosper (12/24/12)

The British Invasion is usually regarded as the 1960s when the several UK artists suddenly had hits on the American charts. This popular wave was spearheaded by The Beatles, who started having big hits in America in early 1964. The attention on The Beatles put attention on other British acts such as Eric Burden & The Animals, The Dave Clark Five, Gerry & The Pacemakers and Peter & Gordon. Some of the harder edged British bands of this era were The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Who and The Yardbirds.

The British ended up giving the world many great innovative artists by the end of the decade. Some of those innovators included The Moody Blues, Donovan, Cream and Led Zeppelin. These artists mixed rich melodies with experimental sounds. The Moody Blues developed their mix of classically-inspired rock on a Mellotron, an early electronic keyboard instrument. Experimental music by The Beatles and The Rolling Stones influenced bands all over the world to explore beyond the boundaries of pop music. Jimi Hendrix, who was originally from Seattle, lived in London at the time of his death in 1970.

A second British invasion occured from 1976 through the mid-eighties, ushering in punk, new wave and more rock artists. David Bowie had surfaced in the late sixties as a pop/rock artist and connected with early British punk. The Sex Pistols were the first British punk artist to get lots of press, mainly from personal scandals more than the music. Later in the decade other newer British bands gained the spotlight in America, such as The Clash, The Police and Elvis Costello & The Attractions.

Another wave of British music came through the dance scene. Electronic dance music from England influenced the American pop music scene beginning in the 1980s with artists such as Human League, A Flock of Seagulls, Depeche Mode, Yaz, OMD and New Order. The Smiths, XTC and Siouxsie & The Banshees helped provide a lot of variety to modern rock in the eighties. By the end of the decade a big percentage of modern rock music was from Britain. The trend continued through the early nineties with Catherine Wheel, Inspiral Carpets, Jesus Jones, Love and Rockets, The Stone Roses and Happy Mondays.

Check out information on the following British music scenes:

Bangor, UK
Belfast, UK
Birmingham, UK
Cambridge, UK
Cardiff, UK
Coventry, UK

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